Cubans get to have two of everything. Uno aquí y otro allá.
- La heladeria Coppelia en el Vedado, Coppelia ice cream in Miami
- Havana Club hecho en Cuba, Havana Club produced by Bacardí
- Tabacos Cohiba cosechados en Pinar del Río, Cohiba cigars rolled in the D.R.
- El Floridita Bar en Obispo, El Floridita Restaurant in Los Angeles
El Floridita de allá: Ernest Hemingway is immortalized at Havana’s El Floridita, as his favorite stool is encased in bronze. Jean-Paul Sartre, Errol Flynn, Greta Garbo and many other famous writers and actors of the time also patronized the bar that is the birthplace of the daiquiri. As a matter of fact, it was Hemingway’s favorite bartender, Constantino Ribalaigua, who perfected the texture of the ice just right.
El Floridita de aquí: Friday, Saturday and Monday are the days con música en vivo, but you can enjoy a nice meal every day…especially one that begins with a pitcher of Mojito. Their menu features all of the Cuban cuisine’s greatest hits: Ropa Vieja, Boliche, Camarones al Ajillo, etc. And for that prima that’s a hippie, they have a vegetarian dinner option that offers salad, white rice, black beans, platanitos and yuca with mojo.
Now, back to that pitcher of Mojito. Full disclosure: I’m a Mojito snob, so when the table chose to get a pitcher, I was apprehensive. But after the first sip, I was satisfied and on my second glass, I loved everyone and everything. And maybe, just maybe, the Mojito at Los Angeles’ El Floridita is exactly the same as the Mojito served in La Bodeguita del Medio en La Habana.
Check out this Mojito tutorial from Havana Club:
If you go: El Floridita is in Hollywood on 1253 Vine Street.
Check out their events calendar: www.elfloridita.com
Pro tip: Make reservations, get there early, bring cash and wear dancing shoes.